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USDA Awards $5 million for Avian Influenza Research

by 5m Editor
24 July 2008, at 8:45am

USDA has renewed the Avian Influenza Coordinated Agricultural Project (AICAP) with another $5 million for three years to the University of Maryland-College Park to study the prevention and control of the disease.

The USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) originally awarded the AICAP in 2005 to the University of Maryland to establish a research and education project to help prevent and control avian influenza (bird flu). The project was composed of a multidisciplinary team of researchers and Extension specialists representing 17 states. AICAP goals include epidemiology, basic research, diagnostics, vaccines and education.

Since 2005, AICAP researchers and educators have:

assembled the first continent-wide network to study the ecological and biological characteristics of avian influenza viruses isolated from wild birds integrated research and education into a unique program available to a range of poultry producers shown that quail can change and expand the host range of avian flu viruses, and found that quail respiratory and intestinal tracts have human-like sialic acid receptors that could partially explain the emergence of avian influenza strains with the capacity to infect humans developed a comprehensive program that has been delivered in 33 states and in Canada and Brazil to train producers and veterinarians on the depopulation and composting of flocks with avian influenza; developed a testing component for rapid diagnosis of avian influenza in birds developed promising vaccines for mass immunization of birds.

The institutions and researchers participating in AICAP are Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, Auburn University, University of California-Davis, University of Delaware, University of Georgia, USDA-Agricultural Research Service-Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, Ohio State University, Oregon State University, Texas A&M University, Western University Health Sciences and University of Maryland-College Park.

Further Reading

- You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.

5m Editor